Time is the most important component of our lives. We are born in time, we live in time and one day we will die in time. So, we have a certain amount of time on our hands and we are free to live it the way we want. We need to do some meaningful work using our abilities in order to utilize our time in the best possible way on this planet. But only a few among us are fortunate enough to feel that they lived a fulfilled life and that they utilized their time quite well & effectively. But a majority of us die dissatisfied with life thinking that they did not get enough time to do what they really wanted to do. ‘Shortage of time’ is one of the biggest reason for people not being able to live a good life. So, let’s see what shortage of time actually means for us and how we can manage this fundamental issue in our lives.
Shortage is A Part & Parcel of Life
Shortage! This word is always used in relative terms. What it means is that something is short in relation to what we want. Everything on earth and in our lives is in shortage. Food is in shortage. Money is in shortage. Love is in shortage. Acceptance is in shortage. Everything human beings want is in shortage and same is the case with time. Whatever you do, you will always feel you are running short of time. But the good thing is that this shortage has a solution, not a direct one where the supply of time can be increased but an indirect one which we will see in the succeeding paragraphs. Before coming to the solution for shortage of time, let’s explore shortage of time in all its dimensions.
Nobody Has ‘Excess Time’!
Have you ever met someone claiming she/he has excess of time? No. No one can claim that. Even if someone lives for a hundred years, they would not want to die. Life has a limitless number of things that we can endlessly go on doing, which makes having ‘excess time’ impossible. If someone has excess time, it simply means that they have a distaste for life and that they are scared of exploring life in its entirety. We can have excess time only when we are not doing anything significant or when we are not doing well in life. Even if we can find one thing that we like doing, we can go on doing it throughout our entire lifespan. So, it’s a good sign that we don’t have excess time on our hands!
‘Exact Timing’ is A Myth!
Can anyone have the exact amount of time she/he wants in life? Well, it seems like a perfect place to be in where we have exactly what we want in life but this place is a created one which limits you & your growth as a human being. Having the exact amount of time we want in life happens when we do things in a completely calculated manner and live a totally measured life. It means doing things by getting enslaved to the clock. This way you may give yourself the feeling that you have mastered time but actually you would feel trapped in a box. Life is so complex and vast that it cannot be trapped in the box of perfection or precision. Life is too chaotic & too beautiful to be trapped in any box of any size. Another thing is that, although we can have the exact amount of time we want in the short term i.e. on a daily, weekly or monthly basis but when you look at life as a whole, you would feel to have fallen short of time even after being disciplined all your life which would make you feel cheated at the end. Hence, trying to perfect time is a silly way to live life. We should always live our life according to what keeps us happy and not according to what the clock wants us to do!
‘Shortage of Time’ is A Positive Sign
Now, we come to what ‘shortage of time’ means for us. We can face a shortage of time in two cases. The first case is when we are spending more time doing something that we don’t like doing, because of which we don’t have any significant time left to do what we really like doing. This kind of shortage of time has a simple solution which is to switch to what you like doing & what makes you happy.
The second case is when we feel the shortage of time while doing what we really like doing. So, essentially shortage of time means that you are doing what makes you happy which tells us that shortage of time is not a bad thing actually. It means that we are doing great in life and that we are going after our dreams and towards increasing levels of happiness. No amount of time can fill this shortage as human beings long for boundless happiness. All we can do here is to keep doing what we like with higher & higher levels of joy & happiness. Time may feel short but we should never keep our happiness short of where it should always be! If this is the nature of the shortage of time you are facing, there is no need to worry and just keep up the good work!
Shortage Of Time : Case of An Important but Uninteresting Work!
Now, let’s bring another factor other than time into play here – Work! When we talk of shortage of time, we are basically talking about it in relation to a work. Work can be of 3 types which are :
- Work which you like doing.
- Work which you don’t like doing but is important.
- Work which you don’t like doing.
The first and third have already been dealt with in the preceding paragraphs. To summarize, you should always invest time in what you like doing as it will make you happy & progressive. And you should completely give-up doing things you don’t like as they would make you unhappy & miserable. But life throws every type of situations at you. The second category of work in the list is a tricky one. This is because you have to do something you don’t like as it is an extremely important work and cannot be ignored. This is the real issue where you will genuinely feel to have a shortage of time. When you don’t like doing something, you will either don’t know how to do it or you will be very slow in doing it or both. How to tackle this situation?
Utilizing The Bundle of Variable Energy That We Are
This is where our picture gets complete as all our factors come into play for the first time. The next factor which is the most important one from our point of view is the Energy within us. We all are nothing but a bundle of energy. We basically have to do a certain WORK using our ENERGY in a give amount of TIME. Work & Time are given and can’t be changed. We have to do a certain amount of work in a given amount of time. The only variable factor here is our Energies. When we talked in the second paragraph about managing shortage of time indirectly, we were talking about our energies. So, how can you use your energies to do an important work which you don’t like doing & which is also faced with a shortage of time?
Forget About ‘Shortage of Time’
The first and the foremost thing is that we should forget that we have any shortage of time. This is because worrying about shortage of time reduces our ability and efficiency to do any work. And when we are about to learn & do something new that we don’t like, it’s important to be at our best while we are at it. This is because we would need all of our strength and beyond to learn and do something that we already don’t like. Once we remove the feeling of shortage of time from our mind, we are ready to start our efforts towards learning & doing the work!
Generate ‘Clean’ Energy Within Yourself
Since, we will be using our variable energies to do the work, we first need to generate the right kind of energy within our body. This means that we should eat the right kind of food. Food that is healthy for your mind & body and which keeps them light and naturally energetic. We can do this simply by removing unhealthy & junk food from our diet and including more lively food items like fresh & green veggies & fruits into our daily diet. Once we start following a healthy diet, our energies will be refreshed and ready to work in our favor.
Give Right Direction To Your Energies : Turn Negative into Positive Thoughts!
The next thing we need to do is to direct these vibrant & fresh energies within us in the right direction which is towards learning the work and increasing our efficiency. In doing this, we first need to ensure that our energies are not getting wasted in wrong things. We have to conserve a major part of our energies for our work. One of the biggest energy drainers for human beings are negative thoughts. We don’t have to be scared of the work we are about to do. We don’t have to feel under-confident and we don’t have to give ourselves any kind of negativity regarding the work we are about to learn. Every battle is fought more in the mind than in reality. If we become able to tackle the negativity around our work, we will most certainly do well while learning & doing it. So, you have to turn every self-constraining thought you get into a self-liberating one. You have to transform the negativity into positivity. Negative thoughts would come but you neither have to fight them nor you have to believe them. Just stay focused on what you have to do and the negative thought would start working in your favor.
Give Right Direction To Your Energies : Go Beyond Positive Thoughts & Start Acting!
Sometimes, even positive thoughts chain and cripple you. They make you feel so nice that you start become careless and distracted while doing the work in reality. So, in addition to transforming the negativities into positivities, you have to ensure that you don’t get stuck in the positive thoughts. Positivity should always lead you to do good work. They should not keep you stuck in them. Once you are over your thoughts, negative & positive, you are ready to learn the important but uninteresting work of yours.
Have An Open & Curious Mind
Now we come to the point where we will know how to learn the work. The work which you don’t like doing but is an important one! Every work is different and needs different set of skills. But to learn any work the basic things that we need remain the same. If you can develop them in you, you can learn any work very easily. These basic things are – ‘An Open & Exploratory Mind’!
By an open mind, what we mean here is an open, receptive and accepting mind. If our mind is closed due to fear, anger, stress or any other negative emotion then it will lower our ability to learn new things. But when we have an open mind that is free of conclusions, bias or prejudices about anything, we are extremely receptive and we will be able to learn anything very quickly and with utmost ease! So, first thing that we need in order to learn something is to have an open mind.
The second thing you need is an exploratory mind. You have to be curious and you need to run through the various aspects and minutes of the work to get acquainted to it in no time. Once you do this, learning the work would become just a mere formality now as the full picture of the work has already entered into your consciousness. Now, when you will actually start doing the work, you would not feel that you are doing it for the first time. This will let you learn the work quickly, easily and in an expert manner!
Be Consistent & Improve Efficiency!
The next question that comes after learning how to do the work is regarding how to increase our efficiency in doing this work. Because our main concern is ‘shortage of time’, we are more concerned with this aspect of the issue. So, how do we increase our efficiency in doing this important but uninteresting work of ours? Efficiency enhancement needs going into the details of the work minutely. It comes from our ability to understand the work in its length and breadth & inside-out. You cannot enforce efficiency into yourself. It enters you through its own unique process. But how does this happen and what does it take to reach that state of efficiency? Efficiency is nothing but a consequence of our consciousness & attention. The more conscious we are, the more we are able to get into the skin of any work which ultimately increases our efficiency in doing that work.
And Consciousness in this case, comes from Consistency. When we keep doing a work with full involvement and zeal, we will slowly start getting the knowledge of its details and minutes which would ultimately help us in improving our efficiency in doing that work! So, increase your efficiency in doing this important yet uninteresting work of yours by staying consistent in doing it. Your open & exploratory mind would also help you in becoming consistent in doing this work!
And this point of time, you will notice that you have become able to do the important but uninteresting work of yours in the least possible time. Hence, the shortage of time in the case of an important but uninteresting work is eliminated successfully!
The Final Lesson : Prioritize!
What we learnt from this blog is that shortage of time is not a bad thing because it means we are doing what we really like doing. But to learn and do things that we don’t like doing but are important to us, we need to stay positive, open, exploratory and consistent with the work. But it is possible that even after doing all these things we still feel a shortage of time. This is because we have forgotten an important linchpin of handling shortage of time – Prioritization! If we do things in the wrong order, we will still feel a shortage of time while doing them. So, ensure that you do the most important works first and the lesser important ones after them in the order of priority or preference. And I should remind you once again over here that things which make you happy should always be your top priority!
Shortage of time would never occur in your life if there is a healthy balance & harmony between time, work and your energies. Understand the nature of time & work which are the given factors and create & make optimal use of your energies which is a factor totally in your hands. If we can bring all these three basic components of life in harmony we will live our short lives in a way that would make us feel that we have lived for a thousand years. After all, life is made beautiful by the quality of time we spent living it and not on the quantity of time we spent in it!